You have exactly 9 days to get your stuff together. Don’t worry, much like yourself, there are hundreds of other procrastinators nervously looking at the calendar and wondering what to do for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Turns out, sometimes procrastinating can work in your favor. Last minute ideas under pressure can pave the road to something potentially great.
So you’re a little behind with your preparations? Relax, because this article will include tools and tips that will help you prepare for the events starting today. There’s no more putting off your tasks, because the success of upcoming campaigns is entirely up to you. As many procrastinators pledge – better late than never!
Words of encouragement before we start
We’re on a tight timeline. Time is ticking but you know that deadlines are like pure fuel for fellow procrastinators. Don’t let the pressure get to you. If you’re a small business, you’re not even competing with the big retail giants, that’s one less thing to worry about. You’re not after the deal-seekers either. Your job is to participate, and do so in a way that’s a little more creative and low-key.
We’ll give you all the tools, and you can get on with your campaigns but first we’ll have to at least make a last minute plan. To simplify the process, there are only 4 steps to getting ready for and executing your last minute Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) campaigns. We’ll also throw in successful campaigns from famous brands for inspiration!
1. Last minute planning
Do you have enough inventory? Can you handle a surge in sales? We’re working on the building blocks of your campaign, it’s important to address these questions head on. To get a better picture, look at last year’s sales at this time of the year to see if you need to stock up on products or what you need to do to perfect this year’s strategy.
Look at your best sellers from last year. Assign the product performance analysis to someone else so you can get on with the next steps ASAP. Make sure you’re also prepared to handle an increase in demand and put together a team to deal with it. Yes, part of being a successful procrastinator is learning to delegate.
If you have physical products, you need to get in touch with suppliers and shippers to see if you can fulfil a flood of orders. One of the great dangers on BFCM is failing to meet demand and missing out on potential sales as a result.
Another important factor is to optimize the mobile experience. Last year, mobile shopping was done 36% on mobile phones on Black Friday and 29% on Cyber Monday. Is your website mobile responsive? Is it easy to navigate? Can shoppers purchase from their mobile phones? All these are important questions to ask and even more important tasks that need to be done.
2. Last minute deals
Rest assured, customers are expecting deals so no, you can’t sit this one out. However, drastic discounts aren’t the best idea for a small business. You’re not Wal-Mart. You need to find a way to determine the deals that are going to work for your particular business.
Remember that a lot of shoppers have different motivations for purchasing goods or services, and you need to apply to as many as possible. Offers that are popular include:
- free shipping
- limited-sale promos
- free gifts
- items at a modest discount
- Unique coupon codes
- Gift cards for a minimum purchase
The key to any deal you offer is creating a sense or urgency (which is why being a procrastinator pays off). Sit down and figure out a few deals that won’t kill your margins. Next, get people excited about last minute deals. Be sure to settle on the conditions of your offers.
Once you have your deals, you need to create some pre BFCM hype. Email a sneak peak to the BFCM sales or deals to all your customers. This need not be perfect, the objective is to get people to look forward to the real deals. Social media is another great channel for this kind of activity.
3. Schedule and send everything in (last minute)
Email marketing is your best friend at this point. Need quick visuals to support your exciting deals? Check out Crello’s collection of customizable templates created just for the BFCM campaigns. You can pick a format, find a template you like, stick important information particular to your deal, download the file and use it for email marketing, website, social media accounts and blog.
Here are all the things you need to take care of:
- Website: banners for your homepage, pop-ups etc.
- Social networks: create visuals for all your social media pages with BFCM deals
- Email marketing: create templates and banners using Crello
- Retail: in-store signs
The preparatory stage takes time but you’re close to the end if you’ve done all of the above. Create some sort of a content calendar for BFCM to keep track of all your activities. Determine when your social media accounts will announce the deals and what time you’ll send out your emails. Do you have a team? Delegate these tasks.
Blast everyone with emails on the 24th of December. Your customers are going open those emails because at this time of the year, everyone is on the lookout for discounts and deals. Devote your time to carefully crafting your email copy. Create a sense of urgency and be prepared for the wave of interest on BFCM.
As a bonus, schedule email teasers, reminders, and those very urgent ‘last chance’ notifications for your customers. Get people really excited about your deals. Here’s an example of a really simple offer:
4. Watch the statistics
You have your work cut out for you. Don’t overlook the statistics, as you need a sure way to track your success and the effectiveness of your campaign. When your deal expires, look at the numbers to tell you what was worth the effort and what you can improve next year.
To do this, you can take the easy route and integrate Google Analytics into your store. You can collect very valuable information that will definitely help you prepare better for next year.
Didn’t enjoy all the last minute hassle? All the more reasons to be more prepared for next year! Read the procrastinator’s guide while there’s still time this year and pass it on to fellow hard workers.